Last year, Joel Johnson and BBtv visited the International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine, a multi-room cabinet of curiosities filled with artifacts, ephemera, and oddities related to "hidden animals," mythical beasts, and creatures unknown to science. The curator of the museum is Loren Coleman, known to BB readers for his terrific contributions to our site, his many books, and his blogging at Cryptomundo. Sadly, the International Cryptozoology Museum is in dire straits. According to Loren, he's caught up in a complicated IRS audit that, he says, initially began with a challenge of "the reality of 'cryptozoology' as an occupation." Then the museum itself apparently was called into question. Now, Loren is seeking $15,000 in donations to keep the International Cryptozoology Museum alive and move it to a new location. From his post:
To the IRS, the museum verges on being a hobby (as per Code 183), and it needs more income (even if donations) to support itself, on its own. To me, the merging between my interviews, the book sales that come out of the museum appearances, and the visibility of the museum on the net are all interwoven. I've never had a great income since I was laid off from adjunct teaching, but combined together, I live at the cryptozoology poverty level with no complaints. But to the IRS, the museum is a separate entity. I understand now, and must comply with that view. I've lost my appeal on my "merge" view.
No fighting this any longer, for I stand fully enlightened about how the IRS is viewing Code 183, as it applies to my life's career. The museum has to make money, or it ceases to exist.